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Winning customer service extends far past the office. In the following interview, Pat Shea, the President/COO of Lyon Real Estate, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® in Sacramento, Calif, dishes out his top tips for excellent customer service, connecting with the community, and more.

Shea_PatPat Shea
Lyon Real Estate, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®
Sacramento, Calif.

Region served: Greater Sacramento market: Sacramento, Placer, Yolo and El Dorado counties
Years in real estate: 25; three as president of Lyon, 10 years in leadership, top producing agent prior to that.
Number of offices: 17
Number of agents: 980

Who has most influenced your success?
Jean Li, the former president and COO of Lyon, has been an inspiration to me. Jean worked at Lyon for 25 years, and delivered a tremendous amount of institutional knowledge and leadership acumen during her tenure here.

One thing you love about your home:
Our home is a great place where family and friends gather to enjoy time together.

What do you like most about the region in which you work?
Sacramento is very affordable and comfortable for many different lifestyles, and it’s a great place to live, work and play. It’s centrally located; it’s a stone’s throw from Lake Tahoe, an hour from Napa Valley wine country, and 90 minutes from San Francisco. It’s about a 3-hour ride to the Carmel/Monterey area, three hours to Yosemite, and a short and inexpensive flight to Southern California. It’s a fabulous location, and it’s a blessing to be here.

What are some of the current trends in your market?
Our market was impacted significantly by the real estate recession, but we’ve experienced a tremendous correction in the past few years. Almost ninety percent of all home sales now are equity sales. Some buyers are moving up to a larger home, some are downsizing, but people are purchasing again. We are in a strong seller’s market with low inventory but we’re moving into a more balanced market. We have closed 50 percent more upper-end escrows in recent months compared to the same time last year. There is still a great deal of competition in the Sacramento region. Listings that are priced well and in good condition will sell however, regardless of the price point.

Above the $500,000 price point, inventory increases and buyers will have more choice, depending of course on the neighborhood. As inventory increases, prospective buyers should be able to find their dream home right out of the gate. The upper end of the market – homes $750,000 and above — is very healthy. There’s a lot of activity in all prices points and overall, Sacramento is still a very affordable market area.

How are you creatively using social media?
Lyon remains focused on executing a consistent social media strategy that reflects our lifestyle, community and charitable activities. Offering our time, talent and treasure consistently in our community is a major focus of our company. Real estate is hyper-local and so is our community participation, and our agents, leaders and support staff all participate. Much of our social media is focused on those activities in which our agents are active on a daily basis.

What demographic segments are driving your business today?
We continue to see pressure on our market from San Francisco to San Jose, where home buyers are looking to Sacramento as a viable and more affordable alternative to the Bay Area. Buyers can purchase the same home here for about half the cost of the Bay Area, and they have more choice.

Nationally, many boomers are downsizing. In Sacramento, we see boomers who are downsizing, as well as those who are moving up, or relocating from the Bay Area and putting money in the bank. Some are helping their millennial children get into homes, too.

Some Gen Xers are getting back into the market. We believe they represent a significant number of former homeowners who lost homes in foreclosure and short sales, but they’re now re-entering the market. They owned before, they want to own again, so it’s a second chance for them to get back into the market. It’s great to see these people get a new opportunity for homeownership. We’re seeing an impact on our market from all these generations in one way or another.

What is your top strategy for closing a transaction?
We are relentless at delivering a high-level of client satisfaction, before, during and after the transaction. We firmly believe that if our clients continue to enjoy extraordinary customer experiences, we will not only close transactions successfully but build long term, productive relationships that ensure future business.

What is your favorite time-saving tool that you use on a weekly basis?
I firmly believe that I can accomplish great things in a short period of time by inspiring and empowering the other leaders around me. We make every effort to provide our department heads and office managers with the trust and resources to make decisions that lead to creative ways of supporting our business and our community.

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